Thursday, October 16, 2008

Masterpiece Classic: 2009

Masterpiece recently announced the selected adaptations for the upcoming 2009 Classic season. Taking center stage this year will be "The Incomplete Charles Dickens", a collection of adaptations of 4 of the literary genius' works (sorry everyone, Bleak House isn't one of them). Though no firm schedule dates have been set, here is what the complete lineup includes:

"The Incomplete Charles Dickens"

Little Dorrit- 8 hour mini-series. Stars Matthew Macfadyen, Tom Courtenay and Alun Armstrong. Adapted by Andrew Davies.

The Old Curiosity Shop- 90 minute single. Stars Sir Derek Jacobi, Gina McKee and Toby Jones.

Oliver Twist- 3 hour mini-series. Stars Timothy Spall, Tom Hardy and Sophie Okonedo.

David Copperfield- 3 hour mini-series. Stars Daniel Radcliffe, Maggie Smith and Ian McKellen.

Also in 2009:

Wuthering Heights- 3 hour mini-series. Stars Chralotte Reiley, Tom Hardy and Burn Gorman.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles- 4 hour mini-series. Stars Gemma Arterton, Hans Matheson and Eddie Redmayne.


Lepidoptera said...

Delighted to find your blog and looking forward to reading more of it. I have always been a reader and enjoy the classics - both written and on screen.

Eppy said...

As a long time Masterpiece Theatre Fan, I am very disappointed in yet another season of repeats and nothing really different. I miss the Masterpiece Theatre of old. There are so many classics that haven't been done. Just how many times do we have to see the same set of novels done over again and again. Are you people so void of the ability to do something different?

Dr. Lawrence said...

Masterpiece Classic is constrained by what the BBC and ITV produce since they don't make the series or films themselves. I do agree that the BBC needs to branch out somewhat. There are more Victorian writers whose work they could look at. I would love an adaptation of Ella Hepworth Dixon's The Story of a Modern Woman, and I think Margaret Oliphant's Miss Marjoribanks would make an excellent miniseries. You could even delve outside of British novelists all together and perhaps look at some Commonwealth writers.

bookwormans said...

The thing to remember in all of this is that Masterpiece (& the BBC) are in this to make money. More viewers = more advetisers = more money. So the BBC tends to make films that are guaranteed to draw in viewers. The more familiar and popular the story, the more viewers it will pull in. And even when they do branch out somewhat (Gaskell's works, "Under the Greenwood Tree", etc.), they tend to stick to story lines that will please its target audience (women ages 30-60).

I do agree, however, that long-time fans deserve something fresh, or at the very least some re-runs of older classics. Everyone raves about "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "I Claudius", but I've never seen them. I also love their biographical works, so more of those would be great. I'm also with lindsy; they could get out of Britain all together. They've already done "Doctor Zhivago" and "Anna Karenina", so why not get into some French, Spanish or German classics? "Les Miserables" and "Don Quioxte" would be great!